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Myspace Safety: 51 Tips for Teens and Parents Paperback – May 14, 2006
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The other intended audience is the teens themselves; unfortunately, I believe that most teens will have little interest in what the authors have to say. The majority of the recommendations which the Farnhams make stem from the basic advisement not to reveal personal information over the internet, including on myspace.com personal pages. The Farnhams do an adequate job of describing the reasons for this caution, but I don't think that they will be able to pursuade most teens. For example, they highly discourage teens from revealing where they go to school, a basic fact which I believe the average teenager would readily share despite any precautions.
Still, I agree with the basic tenet that the best way to keep kids safe is for parents to be well-informed. Therefore, I do recommend this book for parents of teens who are already or who plan to become MySpace users, as it is an excellent means for parents to thoroughly acquaint themselves with this particular online phenomenom.
Contents: Introduction; Get Ready For MySpace; Joining MySpace; Setting Up Your Account; Your Profile; MySpace Friends; The Extended Network; Group Interaction; Scripted Safety; Abuse; Leaving MySpace; Afterword; Resources; Order This Book
This appears to be a self-published book that focuses on the MySpace social networking site. The main thrust is to educate parents and teens on how they can be active in MySpace without taking unnecessary risks to expose themselves to predators or identity thieves. The material is presented in (as the title states) 51 safety tips on what you need to know about MySpace when it comes to personal information. The authors have combined the safety tips with a small amount of "how to" information that will help the MySpace newbie get up to speed on the features, as well as helping them to avoid initial mistakes that might be hard to fix later on. The writing is pretty clear and understandable for both adults and teens, so really anyone with decent reading skills should be able to use this guide effectively to understand what's at stake.
Realistically, most techies who spend a lot of time online will not find many new revelations here. There's a lot of emphasis on not giving out information that could be used to allow others to narrow down your location and such. But that's not, in my opinion, a drawback.Read more ›
All parents of internet-generation teens should have a copy!
Notably, the authors' philosophy on parenting teens using MySpace is to get to know their world to be able to advise them appropriately:
"What's an appropriate response for parents? To get accustomed to the new world...learn about and teach your teens about the risks, and ideally to enjoy participating with them in this new form of interaction that has become normal for [this] generation."
The book is intended to be a "user's manual" with "specific warnings about MySpace dangers and specific methods to minimize the risk that comes with having a [...] account." As the book moves from introduction to setting up an account and modifying account settings, to using MySpace, there are numbered "Safety Tip" sections after discussions of each feature, giving the authors' recommendations.
While the book is well written, it speaks primarily to the parent reader, occasionally stepping aside to address teens. While the discussion and tips are good, the focus is so narrow it is easy to begin relegating the whole book to paranoia. I think the better choice of books would be MySpace Unraveled. Although in some areas this book has more information, it is more dated, and lacks screenshots. Still, it is worthy of consideration, especially if your main concern is the safety issue on MySpace.